Ben Affleck is YOUR new Batman!

Ben Affleck Hollywoodland

Actual photo of Ben Affleck as Batman!

The internet reacted in shocked outrage when Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman in the upcoming Superman vs Batman film. Confused, netizens didn’t know what to do, many panicked and declared this the worst decision ever. Luckily, a few clever people realized that Ben Affleck actually has some talent and could give a great portrayal as a seasoned caped crusader. And there is the extra bonus that now the entire Kevin Smith View Askewniverse can be set in the DC universe. Riddle on that!

You cannot deny that Affleck has talent. He’s got golden statues, a super hero pedigree, and he was the bomb in Phantoms, yo! And even with whatever problems I have with Snyder as a director, Affleck is a much better director and can bring out performances in himself that a less talented director might not be able to do. I also expect the Daredevil movie will finally get the love it deserves, even though it is ridiculous. Heck, there might be a whole rundown on Affleck’s canon by bored sites that already did the Batman retrospective last year before The Dark Knight Returns. There is nothing movie sites like to do more than launch giant series that won’t be concluded that pretend to look at things from a brand new viewpoint while aping the same perspectives found in any discussion thread about the film on the internet.

The real fun for a guy like me will be reading the tears of impotent rage from fanboys, then the tears of impotent rage against the fanboys, and finally reading the Sharknado of impotent rage against the world as society collapses because everyone was arguing about Batman as the economy nose dived off a cliff again.

Now if you excuse me, I have 30 Ben Affleck films to watch…



Written by Chris Terrio (screenplay) and Joshuah Bearman (article)
Directed by Ben Affleck

Worst. Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Ever.

The story of how the CIA created a fake science fiction movie as a cover in order to rescue Iranian hostages is a story that has become legend in the world of internet movie discussions. Over the years, the story became repeated and linked to again and again, building as articles and books sprang up to be linked to, blowing the minds of movie fans new to the tale each time it appeared. It’s one of those true life things that is impossible to make up, as it sounds too far fetched to be real. But it is real, and it’s so real it has passed on to legend. Like all good legends, someone made a movie about it!

Argo is both the name of the fake CIA movie and the name of this film. History comes alive as we enter the world of 1979-1980. From the old school three bar Warners production logo to the final scene of thousands of dollars of vintage toys, we are in the past. There is a very quick comic book history lesson of Iran’s history up to 1979, followed by vintage news reports of US/Iranian tensions that will be sprinkled throughout the film to show the building tension between both sides. It is interesting how the US/Iranian tensions are still relevant now over 30 years later, the same basic issues and anger are present.

Too busy being awesome to listen to the haters

Cast members become unrecognizable beneath their period haircuts and clothing, make up applied to best ape their real world counterparts. The fashions, the cars, Tom Brokaw with black hair, typewriters, everyone smoking everywhere, the Hollywood sign in ruins, it’s all there. Events I only have the faintest recall of due to my other priorities of being in the terrible twos.

But the film is more than a picture of the past. The cast is solid. Affleck put together a powerhouse ensemble of great actors. They blend into the roles.

We open just as the Shah has been overthrown, people are rioting in the streets as revolution runs rampant. The US embassy is besieged both inside from people wanting visas out, to the mob outside yelling at the gates. But they come over the top, storming the compound and capturing everyone. Six US employees manage to escape and hide out, eventually settling at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The Iranians don’t know anyone is missing, yet. But there is no easy way to get them out. So it’s time to come up with some plans.

Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) – CIA agent and expert in disguise. Comes up with the crazy plan that’s just so out there it might work. Sadly this is also a case of white-washing, as Tony Mendez is Latino.
Jack O’Donnell (Bryan Cranston) – Mendez’s boss and supporter, helps deal with the levels of bureaucracy in Washington. Can think fast on his feet while stuff is hitting the fan.
John Chambers (John Goodman) – Academy Award winner John Chambers is one of the best makeup artists in the world. He also does some jobs on the side for the CIA. Which is the connection they need to bring him on for the most important job of his life.
Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) – Hollywood producer brought in to help set up the fake movie and production company. I don’t think he is a real person, as Robert Sidell was the main person helping John Chambers, but Arkin is great as the washed up producer even if it is fantasy.
This is how Hollywood really works.

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Rifftrax Live – Trip Report

And now my report on seeing RiffTrax Live

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett, now known as the Film Crew, were set for two appearances in the SF Sketchfest, performing riffing live of an actual movie. I eagerly bought my ticket and prepared for a two hour drive up to San Rafael to catch the first performance on january 16th. The movie was TBA, and could be anything, from the black and white B-movies the Film Crew are preparing to release with commentary on DVD, to the movies trashed by Mike and the gang at, to an entirely new movie. Arriving in time to get a good seat (and catch a glimpse of the trio before the show started, I was all set for hilarity.

And Hilarity came! After a brief skit in the beginning (where Kevin and Bill pretended to not know they were watching a film and had prepared other performances) the movie was revealed: Daredevil!!! Ben Affleck’s disasterpiece about the blind superhero. Unfortunately, the first attempt at starting the DVD resulted in it beginning in the middle of the film, but the boys recovered as the DVD guy restarted. Much hilarity ensued as Affleck became a favorite target of the riffers’ jokes. The movie, if you have seen it (and I unfortunately had) is a complete mess; with editing problems, terrible dialog, worse overacting, and total disregard for the laws of physics. Some of the best lines involved mentioning “little Ben” and speaking in a deep voice whenever the Kingpin was on screen. Also, there was a mention of Bettendorf, Iowa, and as a former Quad Citian (Rock Island) I enjoyed it very much. The best part was during a fight near some laundry lines outside, and Mike started doing a whole commercial in an announcer voice for Daredevil Brand Laundry Detergent, that kept going and going, putting the audience and the other two riffers in stitches.

After the show, there was a question and answer portion, which was informative. The audience was surprisingly more normal than one would expect for an event like this, with only two notable exceptions. They revealed that the DVD the fans have voted for the most at was Hollywood After Dark, with Rue McClanahan stripping. Also, Kevin said one of the upcoming Rifftrax films almost killed him with how bad it was, and I can’t wait. The group said Battlefield Earth was overexposed, and wouldn’t get riffed on anytime soon, something I agree with, as it is hit as a target far too often to make it interesting at the moment. In addition, they will not be riffing Blood Hook, despite an annoying fan not being quiet about it (MST3Kers Kevin Murphy and Jim Mallon worked on it.)

After the show, the group signed autographs, so I got to meet the trio, albeit briefly, and got all their autographs (Mike and Kevin in the MST3K book, and Bill on the Volume 7 DVD set) which I will treasure always. In all, the experience was very enjoyable, and well worth the $25 ticket price, plus gas and driving time. A stop off in San Francisco to see my girlfriend was also an added bonus. The group performed again the next day in San Francisco proper, and as Mike has expressed that he is working on a tour of Rifftrax, they may soon be coming to an area near you, maybe with another movie or Daredevil itself.

Pictures will be added if I can get the cable for my cell phone to connect to the computer.